NEW ORLEANS, La, April 22. THE Tulane University women’s swimming team inked graduate student and Louisiana native Devlyn Quinn, prep All-Americans Leeann Laing and Sarah Zomchick, as well as high school seniors Samantha Berdine and Jamie Shufflebarger during the spring signing period, second-year head coach Daneilla Irle announced Thursday.
The five spring signees join the quartet of High School All-Americans Tiffany Brown, Cara Davidoff, Sarah Dicharry and Katie Naglick, who committed to Tulane during the early signing period, to bring the recruiting class to nine and gives the Green Wave a team of 22 for the 2004-05 season.
“These five spring additions, combined with our four fall signees, will nicely compliment the ladies we already have in-house,” Irle said. “All nine student-athletes are strong swimmers and strong students. They will fill in some gaps for us in our lineup, and they all have the ability to have an impact immediately. They will be able to hold their own right from the start and that is what we need from this class – immediate ability to score points.”
Quinn, a native of Slidell, La., and graduate of Slidell High, comes to Tulane after three seasons at West Virginia University where she lettered from 2001-03. A redshirt this past season, Quinn earned All-Big East honors in the 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard freestyles in 2003 and was named team MVP in 2002 when she posted 15 individual victories. She set the West Virginia 100 free record with a time of 50.41 and was a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay team that set the Big East record with a 1:32.40 in 2001.
As a prepster, Quinn earned all-state honors and served as the team captain at Slidell High, and was a Junior and Senior National Qualifier for the Hurricane Swim Club. In addition to her work in the pool, Quinn has already received her degree in exercise science, was a six-time member of the Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll, and was selected to represent West Virginia at the NCAA Leadership Conference.
“Devlyn will be a dynamic, quality addition to an already powerful and accomplished sprint group that was represented at the NCAA meet,” Irle said. “She will afford us better depth and the opportunity to put together relays that have four incredibly strong swimmers.”
Laing earned High School All-America honors in the 200-yard freestyle relay after winning the district title and finished runner up in Florida Class 3A as a junior, and claimed All-American consideration in the 400 free relay as well after winning the district title in that event as well. A native of Seminole, Fla., she prepped at Seminole High School where she set several school records and earned first-team All-County honors in 2002 and was named team co-captain in 2003.
A three-year member of West Florida Lightning Aquatics, Laing won the PCAC 100-yard backstroke in 2001 while finishing runner-up in the event in 2002. She finished third in the 2.4 Open Water Swim, and placed ninth in the 100-yard backstroke at the Florida State meet in 2000.
A standout in the classroom, Laing is a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta, and was named to the 2002 USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Team. She was also recruited by East Carolina University.
“The thing that attracted me to Leeann is her exceptional versatility as a swimmer,” Irle said. “That makes her an invaluable asset to this program. She can swim freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and individual medley events.”
Zomchick, meanwhile, signed with Tulane after earning All-America honors in the 400-yard freestyle relay as a senior at Newark High where she helped set a state record in the event. She won the state championship in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley in 2004, and earned first-team All-State honors as a junior and senior.
She earned first-team all-conference honors all four years as a prepster, and set school records in the 100 breast, 200 medley relay and the 200 and 400 free relays. In the classroom, she is a member of the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society, and received the American Association of University Women award for excellence in science and math in 2003. Zomchick chose Tulane over offers from Brown, Emory, Maryland and Columbia.
“Sarah is a very strong student, and a diamond in the rough from an athletic standpoint,” Irle said. “She holds water well and has a good natural fee for the water. I am looking forward to working with her in the future.”
Berdine joins the Green Wave squad from Spring, Texas where she attends Carroll Senior High School and is a member of Irving Swim Club. She was a Southern Zone Championship Qualifier in 2003, Regional Female Swimmer of the Meet in 2002, and was named Female Swimmer of the Meet of the district championship in both 2001 and 2002.
She earned first-team All-State honors in the 200-yard individual medley, 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle in 2002, and claimed the distinction in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles in 2001. Berdine placed second in the 500 free and fourth in the 200 IM in the Texas State High School Championship in 2002 and claimed third- and fifth-place finishes in the 500- and 200-yard freestyle events, respectively, in the 2001 state meet. Berdine chose Tulane over offers from the University of Texas and the University of North Texas.
“Samantha is a fantastic student with an abundance of swimming potential,” Irle said. “That is a great combination for this young program. She will add some much-needed depth to our middle distance freestyle and IM event, She can even add a little aid to our breaststroke events.”
Rounding out the signees, Shufflebarger comes to Tulane from Kingshill, Virgin Islands where she has been a member of the Virgin Island National Team since 1996. She was a consolation finalist in the EVENT at the 1999 and 2003 Pan America Games, and a member of the Virgin Islands World Championship team. Shufflebarger also participated in the Virgin Islands Central American and Caribbean Games, and was a top eight finisher at the Caribbean Island Swimming Championship in both breaststroke events.
A 4.0 student at St. Croix Country Day School, Shufflebarger has served as the captain of the quiz bowl and science bowl teams, was a National Merit Scholar recipient and received Tulane’s Dean’s Honor Scholarship. She was also recruited by Northwestern, Penn, Boston College and Providence.
“Jamie is a very intelligent and enthusiastic young woman who will bring an active energy to our meets and practice,” Irle said. “She will be a great addition to our Green Wave family.”